Riad al Khouri

Riad al Khouri

Visiting Scholar, Middle East Center

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace



Riad al Khouri is a visiting scholar with the Carnegie Middle East Center based in Beirut, Lebanon and senior fellow at the William Davidson Institute of the University of Michigan. As an economist specializing in the Middle East and North Africa region, he has undertaken extensive research on regional trade and political economy, and writes widely about development issues.

He has taught economics at the American University in Beirut (AUB) and Beirut University College (now the Lebanese American University) and works as a consultant for a large number of public sector institutions and private firms, including the European Commission, ESCWA, GTZ, ILO, IOM, OPEC Fund, UNDP, UNIDO, USAID, and the World Bank.

At a conference hosted by the Carnegie Endowment in June 2008, Riad al Khouri addressed the issue of free trade agreements in the Middle East relating to U.S. and EU economic initiatives in the region. Al Khouri pointed out that the topic of free trade is becoming important in the U.S. election campaign, although it has become increasingly deceptive in the context of the Middle East.

In his report for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "E.U. and U.S. Free Trade Agreements in the Middle East and North Africa," al Khouri argues that the European Community has been much more active in negotiating free trade agreements in the region since the 1960s. Beginning with its Mediterranean neighbors, the European Union expanded this process in 1995 with the initiation of the Barcelona Process and has recently sought to establish a Union for the Mediterranean.

By contrast, United States interests in concluding free trade agreements in the Middle East are primarily strategic, by seeking to promote bilateral economic and political objectives and to foster the Middle East Peace Process and regional cooperation through closer trade relations. For many countries in the region, the economic results of trade agreements have been mixed, with exports from the Middle East and North Africa to the United States and the European Union increasing at a relatively slower pace than the growth of imports.

Riad al Khouri's recent publications also examine the impact of increased globalisation in the Arab world as a result of greater Western involvement. He defines the term globalisation in social and economic terms along the guidelines published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. These guidelines measure economic, personal, technological and political integration as an index combining economic integration, personal contact, technological connectivity, and political engagement.

Recent Publications:

E.U. and U.S. Free Trade Agreements in the Middle East and North Africa (Carnegie Paper, June 2008)

Avert a New Failed Mediterranean Scheme (The Daily Star, February 5, 2008)

Joining the Fold (Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue No. 876, December 20 - 26, 2007)

National Security Issues in Euro-Med and US FTA Agreements in the Middle East (St. Gallen U, St. Gallen 2007)

The Future of Democracy in Lebanon (Complutense U, Madrid 2006)

Arab Mashreq Migration and Labor Market Segmentation (IOM, Geneva 2005)

Arab Migration Patterns: the Mashreq (IOM/League of Arab States, Geneva and Cairo 2004)

Copyright Industries in Jordan (WIPO, Geneva 2004)

Qualifying Industrial Zones (Royal Scientific Society, Amman 2002)

Jordanian-Syrian Economic Relations (Arab Bank, Geneva 2001)

Trade Policies in Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia ( World Bank/ERF, Washington and Cairo 2000)


From the Carnegie Endowment:

Recent Articles, Testimony and Commentary by Riad al Khouri